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Towson runs away from St. Francis for 34-7 win 179 yards of Sydnor, Hall fill Washington void


LORETTO, Pa. -- Maurice Sydnor and Paul Hall ripped through the St. Francis defense yesterday for a combined 179 yards, leading Towson State to a 34-7 victory at the Pine Bowl.

They filled in for tailback Larry Washington, who sat out with a pulled muscle in his lower leg.

Big plays and the failure to stop the run have hurt the Red Flash all season and yesterday was no exception.

The Tigers rushed for 262 yards on 41 carries. Sydnor had a game-high 105 yards on five carries.

"We just felt physically we were a little bit better," said Towson State coach Gordy Combs.

Towson State (4-2) scored first on a 7-yard run by Hall. The touchdown was set up by an interception by strong safety Dwayne Exeter.

"This was a typical St. Francis football game," said Red Flash coach Pete Mayock. "We played real good, but there were seven or eight plays that killed us."

Hall rushed for 27 yards on the drive and finished with 74 yards on 18 carries.

St. Francis (0-7) recovered a Hall fumble and moved to the Towson 8. On first down, the Tigers stopped Bryan Ray for no gain. Marco Calise and John Bardak sacked quarterback Joe Ranft on consecutive plays. Matt Shontofski missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt. .

"It's hard to score points when you go backward in the red zone," Mayock said.

Quarterback Kevin Smith led the Tigers on a five-play, 76-yard touchdown drive, including two passes of more than 30 yards. The 5-foot-11, 207-pound freshman connected with Joe Fiore on a 31-yard touchdown pass, and a two-point conversion gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead.

St. Francis took over with 1:42 left in the half and attempted to run down the clock. St. Francis punted after running off 40 seconds.

On second down, Smith completed a 30-yard pass to Fiore. Shawn Ward caught Smith's second touchdown pass of the game. George Perdikakis' kick gave the Tigers a 21-0 halftime lead.

"The touchdown at the end of the half [was big]," said Combs "We stopped them and utilized our timeouts to make it a 21-point lead."

The Red Flash went 69 yards on the first drive of the half to get within 21-7. The 6-1, 210-pound, junior completed four passes for 43 yards and scored on a 3-yard run with 8:55 left in the third quarter.

On Towson's next possession, on third-and-21, freshman Greg Bernhardt tipped Smith's pass at the 2-yard line. Amadi Eze spun around and juggled the ball twice before he grabbed it for a touchdown.

"That's a freshman in there," said Mayock. "He made a nice play, but he needed to take one step back."

Bill Hughes ended the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

9/Towson State .. .. .6 ..15 ..7 .. 6 ..-- ..34

St. Francis (Pa.) ..0 ...0 ..7 ...0 ..-- ...7

Next for Towson

Opponent: Bucknell

Site: Minnegan Stadium

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 3-3

-! Yesterday: Beat Cornell, 10-7

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